1. JOSEPHUS STUDITA (i. e. monk of the convent of Studium, τῶν Στουδίου
, at Constantinople), brother of Theodore Studita is further known by the titles of Joseph the CONFESSOR (ὁ ὁμολογητὴς Ἰωσήφ
) and Joseph of THESSALONICA. His parents Photinus and Theoctista, appear to have been resident at or near Constantinople : and Joseph and his brother Theodore were monks in the convent of Studium (Anonym. De Monasterio Studii,
apud Pagi, Critice in Baronii Annales,
ad ann. 814, c. xvi.), of which Theodore was afterwards abbot, and which was then eminent for the reputed sanctity of its inmates In a eulogistic notice of Joseph in the Menologium Basilianum
(pars iii. p. 167, fol. Urbin. 1727), Joseph is said to have lived in the time of the emperor Theophilus, and to have been elected archbishop of Thessalonica with unanimous approval, on account of his recognised excellence of character.
It appears, however, that his appointment was long antecedent to the reign of Theophilus; and that it was by no means unexceptionable ; for when his quarrel with the patriarch Nicephorus had brought him into trouble, he had to defend himself against the charge of having improperly thrust himself into his see; and his defence seems to admit that the objection was not altogether groundless (Baron. Annales Eccles.
ad ann. 808, xvii. &c.).
In what year he became archbishop is not clear; but in A. D. 809, if we adopt the chronology of Baronius who follows Theophanes, he was deposed, exiled, and imprisoned (ibid.
ad ann. 809, viii. xlvi.; Theophan. Chronog.
p. 409, ed. Paris, p. 325, ed. Venice, p. 752, ed. Bonn; Cedren. Compend.
p. 478, ed. Paris, vol. ii. p. 36, ed. Bonn).
The occasion of this severe treatment was his refusal to communicate with the patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople, because the latter had restored to the office of oeconomus or steward of the great church at Constantinople, the presbyter Joseph, who had officiated at the marriage of the emperor Constantine VI. with the harlot Theodote or Theodata, in A. D. 795 [CONSTANTINUS VI.]; but it is probable that the quarrel was embittered by the iconoclastic controversy, and that the ejected prelate was regarded as a confessor for the truth rather than a sufferer in a squabble about an individual.
Soon after the accession of the emperor Michael I. Rhangabe, Joseph recovered his liberty and his see (Theophan. Chronog.
p. 419, ed. Paris, p. 333, ed. Venice, p. 770, ed. Bonn; Zonaras, Annales,
lib. 15. c.17). When the iconoclastic party, under the patronage of Leo V. the Armenian, regained the ascendancy, Joseph was among the champions and sufferers in the cause of images.
He was confined in an island, apparently one of those in the Propontis, in one of which he had been before confined in A. D. 809 (Theodor. Studit. Epistola,
apud Baron. Annales,
ad ann. 815. 11.816. xliv. &c.).
It is mentioned in the life of St. Nicetas, the Bithynian confessor, that Joseph attended at his funeral, which may be fixed in A. D. 824 (Acta Sanctor. April,
vol. i. pp. 253, 265, and Appendix,
p. xxxii.). Nothing seems to be known of him after this, unless we accept as true the statement of the Menologium Basilianum
(l.c.), that he was imprisoned by the emperor Theophilus for refusing to renounce the adoration of images, and died in prison.
But the statement is rendered doubtful by the addition that, at the time when he was put in prison, his brother Theodore was banished : for Theodore died in A. D. 826, three years before the accession of Theophilus; so that the account is, at any rate, inaccurate; and whether there is any truth in it can hardly be now ascertained.
It is not certain that Joseph lived to the accession of the emperor.
He was dead before, and apparently long before 844, in which year the relics of Theodore Studita were transferred with great pomp to the church of the Precursor (sc. John the Baptist). in the monastery of Studium, where those of Joseph were already reposing (Vita S. Nicolai Studitae,
apud Acta Sanctorum Februar.
vol. i. p. 547).
There are some writings of Joseph extant. Baronius has given (Annal.
ad ann. 808, xviii. xix.) a Latin version of an Epistola ad Simeonem Monachum,
or probably of a part of it ; and Gretserus, in his collection De Cruce,
has given, with a Latin version and notes, Λόγος εἰς τὸν τίμιον καὶ ζωοποιὸν σταυρὸν τοῦ ὁμολογητοῦ Ἰωσήφ ἀρχιεπισκόπου Θεσσαλονίκης
, Oratio in venerandam et vivificam Crucem Confessoris Josephi Archiepiscopi Thessalonicensis
vol. ii. p. 85, &c., fol. Ratisbon, 1734). Joseph of Thessalonica appears to have written several Canones
or hymns, but it is not easy to distinguish these from the Canones
of the other Joseph mentioned below (No. 2). (Acta Sanctorum, Aprilis,
vol. i. p. 268, Julii,
vol. iii. p. 710; Lambec. Commentarius de Biblioth. Caesaraea,
vol. v. col. 564, 576, 721, ed. Kollar; Oudin, De Scriptoribus Eccles.
vol. ii. col. 24, &c.; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus,
vol. ii. col. 43, &c.; Cave, Hist. Litt.
ad ann. 808, vol. ii. p. 6, ed. Oxford, 1740-1743 ; Fabric. Biblioth. Graec.
vol. x. p. 248, vol. xi. p. 79.)